The Partij voor de Dieren is a progressive party with an agenda mainly focused on animal welfare. In 2006, Pvdd was the first animal rights party in the world to have elected representatives in a national parliament. It has councilors in many municipal administrations in The Netherlands and an MEP who sits in the group of the radical left GUE.
Den Haag identity is often perceived outside as linked with international organisations and public offices. But with the high increase of students from Leiden University, the make up of the City might soon change. Is your party vision more pointing towards institutional cities like Geneve or Bruxelles or more like a students city like Utrecht?
The Party for the Animals (Partij voor de Dieren) would not like to choose between the characteristics of these cities. In our party’s vision increasing the number of students or organizations is not a goal in itself. For the Party for the Animals it is far more important to as a council concentrate on working towards a green and sustainable The Hague. In this way we can make The Hague a nice place to live for the different members of society.
The high pressure on housing market in the Randstand region is hitting hard also in Den Haag. Do you have any plan to avoid the “Amsterdam effect” (long list for social woning, skyrocket of prices to rent on vrij sector and koop markt unaccessible for starters)?
It is important to develop housing for all layers of the population and this housing should be sustainable (energyneutral). For example we can build more houses by building high buildings near train stations and redeveloping empty office spaces. However growing in population numbers is not a goal in itself which should be attained at all costs. For example we do not support building in green areas, but want to preserve our nature in The Hague.
The critical density of people in Amsterdam is forcing the government in taking measures to control the tourism. The proposal is to spread the tourist’s flow in the whole region, not only in the Capital. Are you worried about side-effects as overcrowded places or skyrocketing of properties values ?
In The Hague this is not a severe problem, but it is important to monitor these developments and focus on developments and how they affect the livability in The Hague.
The increasing number of citizens will impact even on the mobility. What are your plans for traffic?
For the Party for the Animals it is important to stimulate clean ways of transport. The Hague should become more cyclist friendly by making more separate bicycle paths and places to stall your bike. Also we should invest in public transport. On the other hand we should disincentive the use of cars, for example by raising the costs of a second car permit. On places where cars are parked children cannot play and trees cannot grow. This is why the Party for the Animals would like to decrease the space cars take up in our city.
Integration is a sore subject for every city. How do you perceive international communities? What are you plan for a better integration? How would you organize Dutch languages courses?
The Hague is a city that is very segregated. There are very rich neighborhoods and poor ones. This is bad for integration, because it is important for the social coherence that different members of society interact. This is why The Party for the Animals would like to diversify the different neighborhood and increase the quality of the environment in poorer areas. For example the Schilderswijk is an area with high levels of air pollution and little green areas. We should tackle this. In that sense internationals are not different to other inhabitants. They just want a nice place to live. Furthermore it is important that people have the opportunity to learn Dutch and take part in society by working. The council should stimulate this.